Nalbandian sees red

David Nalbandian is an experienced player. Turning pro in 2000 and now 30 years old he is a veteran of the tennis world. He has a range of titles under his belt; Washington, Sydney, Paris and the ATP Championships to name a few and he also secured a career high ranking of number 3 in 2006. For someone of his proficiency and expertise, no one could have predicted his rage induced actions during the final of the AEGON Championships which are under investigation as assault.

Throughout the AEGON, Nalbandian was playing sublimely and advancing through the rounds with ease. The tournament saw him contend with Pospisil, Bemelmans, Roger-Vasselin, Malisse and finally Grigor Dimitrov in the semi-finals who he defeated in straight sets to take him into the final to face Marin Cilic.

The final began in Nalbandian’s favour, and after a tough and feisty battle, he took the first set 7-6. The second set continued neck and neck with both players defending their serves admirably it looked to be a fight to the bitter end. This was until Cilic managed to break the Argentinian’s serve in the 7th game of the second set. Nalbandian, who could not contain his frustration at his personal performance lashed out; booting an advertisement which a line judge was perched on top of. To the line judge, crowds’ and Nalbandian’s horror the advertisement flew into the line judge’s leg causing him to severely bleed from a long gash on his shin. After much confusion, speculation and bewilderment it was decided Nalbandian was to be disqualified, a desperate and disappointing end to what was in the making of an enthralling final.

Not only has Nalbandian lost his $56,000 prize money, he has also lost his dignity. The Argentinian was full of remorse for his actions, but he has severely dented his reputation, and from a round one loss at Wimbledon, his confidence appears to have also taken a knock.